Pacific Coast Sierra Cascades Bike Trip Day 20 – San Francisco and South

A pleasant night at Samuel Taylor State Park under the redwoods. At 6:30, I set forth on Sir Francis Drake Ave. toward the Golden Gate Bridge. I passed houses here and there amongst trees in rural areas. Dense waist-high shrubs covered the hillsides. Once I reached Fairfax, navigation intensity jumped. I kept my map handy, usually following other cyclists and bike route signs, plus the map. I stopped frequently for map checks. After a stiff climb, I rolled down to sea level and a bike path that I followed for several miles. In Sausalito I saw a diner but, foolishly didn’t stop to refuel. Onward and upward to the bridge. The ride across featured strong winds, a river of traffic, and lots of maintenance workers in the east-side pedestrian walkway. How those workers managed to stay warm I can’t imagine. Fog enveloped the bridge limiting views. In San Francisco I got directions from a worker and wound around through the quaint Presideo (an old army post) then west through normal urban areas to the ocean. I bought groceries and chocolate milk at Safeway. Once I reached the Great Highway,  the wind shrieked. Drifting sand closed the highway to cars and trucks but not walkers and bikers. Hard riding into the wind. A 500-ft climb through Daily City warmed me up. Back on CA 1, I warmed up again with another climb and a trip through a tunnel. Loud but not scary due to a wide shoulder and good lighting. Onward along the coast with shifting winds and fine views (see photo). A Gatorade in El Granada perked me up. On the last leg of the day to Half Moon Bay State Park, I skipped a bike trail that went to the park in favor of CA1, then had trouble finding the park. Google Maps to the rescue. I got a sheltered hiker-biker site for $7 and a $1 shower. Two bikers on the first day of a ride from Oakland to San Luis Obispo got the site next door. A short but trying day with 62 miles.

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